SALT LAKE CITY — Fire sprinklers unexpectedly went off at a community arts center causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage and leaving some artists and performers wondering where they were going to work in the near future.
The Utah Arts Alliance’s SLC Arts Hub experienced a malfunction in a thermostat Friday morning, triggering the sprinklers to turn on, according to development director David Kubinski.
Kubinski said the upstairs flooded, damaging a dance floor and sending water down to a section of the first floor below.
“There was total chaos as the water came down,” Kubinski said.
In all, executives preliminarily estimated damage somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000.
Shared resources program director Birdie Hess described the damage as the “biggest setback” she’d ever seen in the organization.
“It’s really hard when you’re trying to do a lot with a little, and something of this magnitude happens,” Hess said.
Feyd Taylor of Salt Lake Capoeira said the water damaged more than 200 musical instruments belonging to the group, including sticks and drums.
“It’s crazy how much damage just a little bit of water can do,” Taylor said. “Right now, it’s looking a little grim for our music.”
Kubinski said it was unclear how much the insurance would cover.
Taylor said he was trying to stay optimistic through the ordeal.
“We’ve got to keep going,” Taylor said. “It’s a lot of damage, but, you know, hopefully we find a way to get through it.”